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  1. #241
    Lesser Hivemind Node WallyTrooper's Avatar
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    I agree that last night did get a bit ridiculous with all the technical trouble but I feel obliged to highlight that it was advertised as playtesting. So if you want to get involved in what's clearly advertised as playtesting please don't complain when the maps don't work. As for the server I agree that it's unfortunate that it wasn't working as expected but sometimes life is like that and no one would have known to expect it, I think Ridebird's attitude is a good one to emulate here: laugh at how horribly buggy it is.

    That said I fully agree that we can streamline the playtesting process so that fewer people are involved. I'd tested my 10 fps map extensively in singleplayer and sufficiently with 1-person multiplayer (i.e. hosting my own server) and had no trouble with frame rates. So in that instance it may have required a stress test of 8 or so people to reveal the issue. Equally it may have showed up with just 2 people. I'll see if I can persuade someone to help test my mission mid-week.

    So in summary, good point about carefully planning the playtests but if you show up to a playtesting event expecting maps without bugs it's almost inevitable that you'll be disappointed. Which would be sad, it's fun playing Arma with you so let's hope we can make it work better for all.
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  2. #242
    Lesser Hivemind Node LaKroy's Avatar
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    The issues during yesterday's session became a bit silly. It was advertised as a play testing session though, specifically for Wally's mission. Although he had tested it thoroughly on his own, the massive FPS problems only cropped up with more players, which is unlucky. We are amateurs, so do not expect professional quality through-and-through.

    We are not running scheduled sessions, and in a game that has to be tended by the players, unlike PS2, some small problems are to be expected. For example server issues, inability of players to connect etc. This is made worse by Arma's unstable multiplayer experience, questionable netcode and poor optimisation. Multiplayer instability seems to be a common problem.

    That said, there are things we can do to minimise the annoyance and increase the fun.

    Firstly, the missions I have contributed have been in a finished form, as I perceived it. Everything from start to finish was completed and either tested to work beforehand or made using simple mission systems that are reasonably reliable and should work fine (triggers, patrols, tasks). Small bugs and balance issues have been pointed out, and subsequently modified by me, but the missions have been playable. Perhaps this approach should be adopted by all map-makers? I have stuck to simple mechanics though, so it has been easier for me to make everything work as intended.

    Secondly, we now know that Multiplay takes a long time to get missions available on their server. When we have a new mission, we should upload it one day before we want to use it. In the case of running it on one of our own computers, we should share the mission beforehand, ideally, or have a .pbo ready to send to the person that is hosting during the session. Sending a .pbo only takes a couple of minutes.

  3. #243
    Lesser Hivemind Node Ksempac's Avatar
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    I apologize then. I didn't notice it was labeled to be a playtesting session, so I retract what I said.

    However, I would like to point out that so far, every single time I've shown up there was some playtesting going on. Are there actually non-playtesting sessions ?
    Last edited by Ksempac; 03-11-2013 at 02:03 PM.

  4. #244
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    I enjoyed last night, the long nightime mission we eventually played through was really great, and the chem-depot one after that was also fun until I lagged somewhat and drove an SUV straight into a roadblock.

    Re. bugs and server faff, I think there was an unfortunate coincidence of a few unforseen problems which got in the way more than usual last night. As for playtesting it seems to me that there's little out there yet, aside from the sp showcases and maybe the campaign, that doesn't have a much higher than other games chance of throwing up problems that haven't yet been chased down.

  5. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksempac View Post
    However, I would like to point out that so far, every single time I've shown up their was some playtesting going on. Are there actually non-playtesting sessions ?
    Most of the times I've played, there's been some play testing (in the form of full squad play testing), but only a smaller portion of the evening. And I think that's in part because we need a map to play and no one has prepared one. The majority of most evenings (in my experience) we play something from the steam workshop.

    But having a little more more organisation might be good. So let's make sure we upload any interesting missions we find, so we always have something to play as well.
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  6. #246
    Lesser Hivemind Node WallyTrooper's Avatar
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    I plan to make a few more LaKroy style missions (ones that work because they don't try to be too fancy and therefore provide loads of fun).

    Another thing that could avoid delay: having a start time and sticking to it. Last night we restated several times so as not to leave anyone out. That was sensible and fair for last night but could be avoided in future if we plan ahead. How about we agree that whenever we all agree on a start time everyone respects it. That will likely mean everyone misses out once in a while because real life intervenes but if it means no waiting around and restarting it could mean more time in game overall.
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  7. #247
    Lesser Hivemind Node WallyTrooper's Avatar
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    Ok, good to my word I've made another mission. It took less than an hour to make which is usually a good sign that I haven't tried anything too sophisticated. I'd love for someone to help test it just to make sure it runs at an acceptable framerate. If it does then I'm confident that everything else will work because it's so low tech. Hopefully it'll be fun too.

    I'm quite excited about this because it's a bit different to the usual missions we play; it's adversarial. I call it: "Hide and seek and destroy". Two four man teams: one NATO, one CSAT. Each tasked to kill the other. Plus sufficient AAF in the mix to keep things interesting. NATO has better recon facilities (they have a UAV) but CSAT have better weaponry. It's intended to be asymmetric balance rather than simply unbalanced.
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  8. #248
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    That sounds really interesting Wally! I should be online sometime tomorrow night, so I can help test it if you don't get someone tonight.
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  9. #249
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    I think having some non-complex missions such as Wally describes in the bag will be a very good thing, these can then be quickly brought out as alternatives when the fancier stuff does go awry.

    Always happy to jump on for some testing any night I'm on mumble.

  10. #250
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus RIDEBIRD's Avatar
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    I can understand some of the frustration, but your whining about it during the session made me a bit irritated Ksempac. Honestly, you have these fine people here making excellent missions for you when you are not contributing yourself, and they need to be playtested. They will break. Things will not be smooth. What makes you have any more right then anyone else to play finished, fully working missions? Frankly, no one else was complaining.

    The least you can do is be patient and not whine about their missions which they have spent hours upon hours working on. If it was my mission you where complaining about, I would have booted you from the server. I have limited time as well, and I am not making missions. I am happy to host them and to participate in breaking them so that we can have great experiences like we have had with our own missions.

    The game is buggy as fuck and making missions is not easy. It will not be a smooth experience for many months to come. Every session with a new mission or with a new version of a mission will be playtesting, and the game will eventually just break down and give us 20 FPS etc. So just try to enjoy what works and what doesn't work - laugh about the broken stuff, and enjoy it when it actually works.
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  11. #251
    Lesser Hivemind Node WallyTrooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Hoc View Post
    That sounds really interesting Wally! I should be online sometime tomorrow night, so I can help test it if you don't get someone tonight.
    Thanks Sir Hoc! I didn't test it last night so if you're still up for this it would be really useful. I'm a little unsure of when I'll be online tonight so perhaps best to not make firm plans but if I see you online then I'll ask if you could spare 15 minutes for testing.

    More generally I'm planning to make a few more reliable missions and schedule an actual night for playing them later in the week. Probably Wednesday or Thursday depending on which is the night that my wife is at a conference. So if anyone's up for that let me know.
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  12. #252
    Lesser Hivemind Node Dewi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIDEBIRD View Post
    I can understand some of the frustration, but your whining about it during the session made me a bit irritated Ksempac. Honestly, you have these fine people here making excellent missions for you when you are not contributing yourself, and they need to be playtested. They will break. Things will not be smooth. What makes you have any more right then anyone else to play finished, fully working missions? Frankly, no one else was complaining.

    The least you can do is be patient and not whine about their missions which they have spent hours upon hours working on. If it was my mission you where complaining about, I would have booted you from the server. I have limited time as well, and I am not making missions. I am happy to host them and to participate in breaking them so that we can have great experiences like we have had with our own missions.

    The game is buggy as fuck and making missions is not easy. It will not be a smooth experience for many months to come. Every session with a new mission or with a new version of a mission will be playtesting, and the game will eventually just break down and give us 20 FPS etc. So just try to enjoy what works and what doesn't work - laugh about the broken stuff, and enjoy it when it actually works.
    Some of the bugs are hilarious first time round, like when the AI refuse to target us as infantry, but would kind of follow us. Then when entering a vehicle they would let all hell break lose upon that vehicle. Sheer brilliant.

    Whilst I'm not contributing myself I find the puzzle of the source of these bugs most intriguing. Don't get me wrong I do prefer ones that work, but I always find it's not the game playing I enjoy the most, but the people I'm sharing the game playing with. All the times I've had with ARMA have been good and very funny, bugs and all! Good stuff!

  13. #253
    Lesser Hivemind Node Ksempac's Avatar
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    @ridebird i understand. Let's just say that my expectations of what Arma is and also the way the giraffes play it were wrong.

    This conversation and seeing 4 giraffes playing Arma solo yesterday (probably for mapping) set me straight, you will not hear me whine anymore

    I do not share your enthusiasm for theses bugs, and might not play anymore, but if i do play, i won't complain anymore.

  14. #254
    Lesser Hivemind Node WallyTrooper's Avatar
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    On the question of "where do the bugs come from?" I think there are several sources:

    1. Over ambitious scripting - most of us have tried some scripting and are in the process of learning how to do it. Given the open ended nature of Arma 3 it's hard to make a script that works in all circumstances. Hence someone does something the script author didn't expect and hey presto the game breaks.

    2. Buggy scripts - we now know that the duplicating watches problem is to do with BTC revive. It's just a known issue with a script we all use.

    3. Version issues - when Arma updated (to include the campaign) the devs saw fit to update all the object IDs. Hence all previous user made missions spew out this error about bad links to objects. I suspect we'll see more version issues with future updates.

    4. Lack of testing and forgetfulness - the obvious stuff, like forgetting to set the AAF to enemy. I've done this masses of times, ironically because I hit 'preview' so often in the editor and usually set it to day time so that I can see clearly how the units are behaving. I then sometimes forget to set it back to night time or whatever. That's where the playtesting comes in!

    I think we can avoid 1, 2 and 4 through carefulness and I think LaKroy has done so which is why his missions have been so reliable. Me, Eso and Nick have all to some extent fallen foul of these errors but we're still learning and most of the times the bugs have shown up have been on dedicated 'playtest' sessions. In fact I think the majority of play time has been 'playtests' so far. That's one reason why we might want to have some dedicated 'play' sessions in which missions can only be played if they've passed some sort of QA process to avoid unnecessary delays. I'm sure Arma will still through enough hilarious bugs our way even with a QA process.
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  15. #255
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus RIDEBIRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyTrooper View Post
    On the question of "where do the bugs come from?" I think there are several sources:

    1. Over ambitious scripting - most of us have tried some scripting and are in the process of learning how to do it. Given the open ended nature of Arma 3 it's hard to make a script that works in all circumstances. Hence someone does something the script author didn't expect and hey presto the game breaks.

    2. Buggy scripts - we now know that the duplicating watches problem is to do with BTC revive. It's just a known issue with a script we all use.

    3. Version issues - when Arma updated (to include the campaign) the devs saw fit to update all the object IDs. Hence all previous user made missions spew out this error about bad links to objects. I suspect we'll see more version issues with future updates.

    4. Lack of testing and forgetfulness - the obvious stuff, like forgetting to set the AAF to enemy. I've done this masses of times, ironically because I hit 'preview' so often in the editor and usually set it to day time so that I can see clearly how the units are behaving. I then sometimes forget to set it back to night time or whatever. That's where the playtesting comes in!

    I think we can avoid 1, 2 and 4 through carefulness and I think LaKroy has done so which is why his missions have been so reliable. Me, Eso and Nick have all to some extent fallen foul of these errors but we're still learning and most of the times the bugs have shown up have been on dedicated 'playtest' sessions. In fact I think the majority of play time has been 'playtests' so far. That's one reason why we might want to have some dedicated 'play' sessions in which missions can only be played if they've passed some sort of QA process to avoid unnecessary delays. I'm sure Arma will still through enough hilarious bugs our way even with a QA process.
    You're forgetting 5:

    The game is coded by Bohemia Interactive.

    All of their games have ALWAYS been completely broken on release, way before this was the norm. Operation Flashpoint was notoriously broken when it released in 2001. The trend has since continued. There is a lot of stuff you just can't fix. Like the FPS issue that plagues bigger missions - it will continue til Bohemia optimizes the game.

    When Arma 2 released I had 14 FPS with my computer in the campaign. About 2 years later on the same computer I tried again and it ran at 60ish with a slight GPU upgrade.

    Sure, there's a lot you can do, but we can't forget that the game is a bit shit as well. It comes with it being this lovely realistic simulator with gabillions of variables. You just need patience with that.
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  16. #256
    Lesser Hivemind Node NickWhite's Avatar
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    Calling all play testers! You are needed for a... Erm.... Play test! I've been working on this mission for quite a long time and for the sake of my own sanity need it to be played by people again.

    I have absolutely no idea how to make the BTC revive work and the fact that i cant grasp the simplicity of it makes me weep. So ideally, is there anyone i could email the .PBO to and them upload it to our Server/ email it on to our usual hostee's?

    Shall we say, tomorrow evening? 20:00GMT?
    Last edited by NickWhite; 04-11-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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  17. #257
    Lesser Hivemind Node WallyTrooper's Avatar
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    I'll be there if I can!

    Thanks all for tonight's fun. I enjoyed myself but please let me know what you thought of it. I'm worried it was too sparsely populated.
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  18. #258
    Lesser Hivemind Node LaKroy's Avatar
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    It took quite long to finish, i.e. 90 minutes, but it was entertaining and very tense all the way through. Hilarious end as well when we took out your attack heli with a wire-guided missile.

    Perhaps some kind of sudden death mechanic could be applied to limit the time a session takes? I didn't mind it taking some time though, since it was very fun, but I guess it could become tedious at some point.

    EDIT: There are two bugs I know of. The first one is that the CSAT team has a task that is to eliminate the CSAT team. It should be "kill the NATO team", surely. The second one is the thing with markers "leaking" through to the other team. You could see the "NATO Car" marker that I placed (I was the CSAT diver if that helps). We didn't notice any of your markers on the CSAT team though.
    Last edited by LaKroy; 04-11-2013 at 11:26 PM.

  19. #259
    Lesser Hivemind Node Dewi's Avatar
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    I had an amazing time, my best in ARMA so far.

    Background: two teams, one opfor with better weapons, one bluefor (or whatever) with not so good weapons, but a UAV. Last team standing wins. Whole stratis map is your playground, goodies located about the place.

    I led the blue team, with Wally, INGLE5 and Arty:

    Spawned near the air strip, scouted with UAV till Arty crashed it. Spotted a boat and a little hummingbird chopper.

    After quietly gaining access to the south of the strip, used wally and ingle5 to create noice in the boat and distract the enemey from the chopper so me and arty could jump in.

    Boat team scouted the coast, whilst heli team scouted the island, found an artillery with 12 titan rockets. I took control of that whilst the others kept scouting. Arty found an attack chopper and took that, and picked up ingles for a gunner whilst wally continued coastal search. Had contacts at the south eastern light house so chopper hovered with missiles on standby whilst waiting for titan missiles to blow it up. titans missed (damn spread) so chopper took it out.

    choppers instruments damaged, found another attack chopper, went to land, Arty screwed the pooch and ended up in the drink killing Ingle5. requested pick up by boat from wally, who ran over Arty. Team Kill 2.

    Wally took new chopper, picked me up as gunner. About 15 mins of search and destroy unitl people needed to leave. Wally hovered whilst we changed mumble channels to call a truce, wehn SirHoc wire guided a titan right into us.

    Congrats Red team!

  20. #260
    Lesser Hivemind Node Dewi's Avatar
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    I'm up for this!

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